“He struck a violent blow upon the monster’s head” by C. E. Brock, 1890
If you were told tomorrow that you had one day left to live, what would your first few thoughts be?
Life is a puzzle to be solved, and it’s a tough one. Whether you want to try and ‘solve it’ is entirely up to you, but like it or not, it’s been placed on your table, and there’s a timer. Much like when something is planted in front of you as a child, there is not much likelihood you won’t grab it, feel it, look at it, and sense it in any other way that your curious brain might be so inclined to do. This is an impulse that consciousness imposes upon our mind and flesh. If you don’t believe me, then I ask you to try and remember any important memories under the age of three. In a sense we exist as non-playable entities for quite some time on this planet. I mean, three years to someone who had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness is a long time, and yet nearly all of us must admit—at least to some extent—that we cannot manifest any true first-person meaning from our lives in that state of being, which I say again, is no length of time to scoff at. If you want to go further into this idea, then we need only look at this state we call ‘auto-pilot’. True, it’s not something we all do regularly, but it is legitimate enough for me to say, and then for you to understand what I’m talking about.
Time is precious, but our true understanding of this only crystalizes the further we move into the uncertain.
We cannot know everything all at once, in fact various fictional and mythological outlets warn us against too much knowledge too fast. This is not a coincidence. It’s a curious subject for humanity to explore. Especially those who have an inclination for exploring the hidden, or for uncovering new pieces of reality to fit into their artistic vision with the intent to share their boons with the rest of us. It is in this way that man might reenact, or rediscover the Holy Grail, or discover Nirvana. These are not concepts to be indulged alone. These are states and forces that are necessary for us to share with all of those who have not yet found the truth, which in theory is every other living being in that moment of your finest discovery; the revelation of your Philosopher’s Stone.
Forbidden, eldritch, esoteric, mad, schizophrenic, demonic, sacrilegious: these are all terms that decorate our invisible forcefield away from the void, the frontier. These are terms that are dripping in both ambrosia and poison for any man willing to hear them, or stare at them in greater detail than his neighbor or co-worker.
In many ways this ‘puzzle’ of life is a puzzle in and of itself. To most people alive today, it undergoes a transmutation throughout their calcification process; which is in direct contrast to their ‘answering of the call’. Those who retain the understanding that this is a ride, puzzle, story and myth have a great burden to undergo. They have Pisces up the sword, they have seen through the looking glass, and they have found that their world is entirely different to all of those around them, for most people have almost entirely forgotten this life to be a puzzle at all. In fact, there is a great number of people that have invested a great deal of effort into the negligence of this call to action.
You can solve a Rubik’s cube; we know this because people do it all the time, and it’s fucking annoying if you want to, but don’t know how. You could attempt it for hours and get nowhere. In fact, you could even invoke some sort of primal rage that drives you through time like a bullet shot from a gun… still to no avail; until one day you simply leave it on the counter to collect dust, and it becomes part of your décor, like everything else you have ever purchased with excitement and watched blend in to the mosaic that comforts your blurry tired eyes as you return home from your job: ‘Ah yes, I’m home’.
But ‘home’ to the vast slew of people who refuse to understand the self, is a rather hollow place indeed. Is it any wonder that the same apartment owned by some city dwelling sycophants would have been akin to a prison to many of our ancestors? Is it any wonder that the analogy and theme throughout Palahniuk’s Fight Club insinuates a sickness residing in the main character’s obsession with home décor?
But with all hypotheticals aside, there is no doubting that this existence is unabashedly filled with excruciating turmoil outside the walls we call ‘home’. I truly sympathize with those who fear; I mean, the idea of leaving comfort, and certainty behind is entirely unnatural… When we are talking about the comfort of the herd, when we were talking about the animal. It’s easy to corral that which does not think for itself, easier still if that entity believes it knows everything, and that anything beyond is taboo or madness.
Yet, as much as I understand, I cannot abide. Saying ‘no’ to true sentience, gritty sentience, growth-driven sentience, is us caving into fear. ‘Caving in’ is a funny term, right? It’s an act of receding. That’s a concept in direct opposition to ‘venturing‘ or ‘going forth’; additionally, it’s admitting there is nothing you could have done to stop it from happening. ‘I can’t do ___ because ___.’
‘No I won’t be able to do _____ until ______ it _______’
To cave is to delve deeper into your cell. At least you get three meals in there, and you are protected by iron bars.
So, why on earth would we go ‘out there’? Why are some of us mad enough to go ‘beyond the frontier’, especially if we are safe and have things here? As rhetorical as these questions might be, we all understand that this is in fact a driving narrative for how many of our fellow humans walk this earth. I dare you now to ‘go fishing’ in a sense, for the good of experimental observation. The next time you find yourself around anyone who gives off this sort of stagnant aura, I implore you to voice an intention you have for the near future of your life, on how you are going to shape the world, and not be shaped by it.
This could be a simple ‘I’m going to stop smoking weed’ or as grand as ‘I’m going to become a professional musician’. Depending on the depths those suspects have caved into, you will see a certain type of response.
‘I’m moving out and going to live in ____ where I have always wanted to live’
“I’m quitting my job in pursuit of ____ job instead’
You are going to be greeted by some strange responses if you have fished in the right areas.
You will notice that many of these stagnant figures will use the knowledge they have garnered to try and cave you in from within their own self destructive ruins. This isn’t because they are base, and nor are they entirely sheep. It’s because they are trying to forget about that unsolved puzzle, and you just alerted them to its old noises, and its mockingly bright colors.
What is it that makes them forget? Its not like they are all stupid, in fact many of them are quite the opposite, these are intelligent people we are often talking about, especially the ones that know exactly where to toss their rocks at you. So what is it they rely upon as their ramshackle fortification?
Oh yeah, distractions. Sentience and self-actualization are terrifying, and this terror will often manifest as distractions. It’s so much easier to toss the worm back into the pond and go fight in a crusade, only for the sheepish knight to come back and fight the dragon later. If you are not familiar with this tale, I implore you to read ‘The Lambdon Wyrm’.
You see, stupidity is low hanging fruit for us who wish to think beyond. Its entirely false to believe all of those who wish to tear you down have not also had the exact same thoughts. Yet, what you might do is what they must fear in order for them to continue on.